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Phillipines' President Should Visit Psychiatrist-UN Commissioner

10 March 2018

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, defended the independence, impartiality and expertise of special rapporteurs in the face of "smear and hate" campaigns, some involving incitement to violence.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein demanded that the Human Rights Council, which counts the Philippines among its 47 member countries, "must take a strong position" on the issue, and insisted "these attacks can not go unanswered".

In addition, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Duterte should undergo a psychiatric examination. This kind of comment is unacceptable.

Now, branding individuals terrorists will allow the government to able to monitor them more closely, track finances and curb access to resources, among other measures.

"There's a long history in the Philippines of the state security forces and pro-government militias assassinating people labeled as NPA members or supporters", Conde wrote.

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The petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group.

Tauli-Corpuz, a Philippine national known for advocating for the rights of indigenous people in the Philippines, denied the allegation, calling it "baseless, malicious and irresponsible".

The special rapporteur most recently addressed the issue in a news release on 27 December 2017, which was made in line with the responsibility entrusted to her by the Human Rights Council to report on alleged violations of indigenous people's rights globally.

Among those targeted are Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who was a United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, four Catholic priests, Communist Party founder Jose Maria Sison, and several former lawmakers.

Palabay said the petition was apparently filed "to sow fear and panic among Duterte's detractors, subjectively prepare the public for more intense political repression, and be the front act of a crackdown against the dictator wannabe's critics".

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Duterte ended peace talks with the communists in November, saying that the guerrillas had reneged on their commitment to peace when its members continued with attacks despite the peace talks.

There was no basis for the charge of terrorism, said Mr Sison, who was a mentor of Mr Duterte when he was at university, although the two are now bitter rivals.

"There is no reason whatsoever for such an unmeasured outburst directed against President Rodrigo Duterte and it should not be repeated", Cayetano said, adding Corpuz was included on the list because of her alleged ties to the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Also on the list was former congressman Satur Ocampo, who faces a criminal case over the murder of suspected military spies in the communist movements in the 1980s.

Florin Hilbay, former chief legal counsel of the previous Philippine government, noted the irony of Duterte's comments on the eve of the International Women's Day.

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The New People's Army, which is waging a decades-old Maoist armed rebellion, has been designated a "terrorist organisation" by the US State Department.

Phillipines' President Should Visit Psychiatrist-UN Commissioner